Board of Directors

The USA Board Members


REHGERT VAN ZYL – Founder & President

With a desire to serve  GOD, his nation and his people, Rehgert moved back home after studying at Stellenbosch University in South Africa.  Receiving his Bachelors in Sociology and Anthropology, he wanted to use his degree to influence the youth of the nation.   In 2005, he began work for an NGO as a houseparent to street kids in George, South Africa.  After spending 6 months with these street kids, Rehgert saw that the main problem in South African society was that the “father figure” was missing amongst most households.  The kids had already been set in their destructive ways of living.  In order to have an  opportunity to speak truth and wisdom into their lives he needed to capture their attention at a young and influential age.  Rehgert saw the need and looked at what he had – three surfboards, a car, and time.  He began offering street kids surf lessons in townships of Borcherds & Parkdene.  The kids jumped on the opportunity to learn to surf and swim.  With a group of 12 kids between the ages of 10-15, Rehgert discipled, mentored, tutored and loved on these youth.   This mission developed into Aleph Surf International.  ALEPH means “beginning or foundation” in hebrew,  Rehgert’s vision and hope is to see every child in every nation have a foundation set in Jesus Christ and to know they were created for a great purpose.



BRENT ELDRIDGE – Vice President

Brent is the lead Pastor at First Baptist Church of Lakewood in Long Beach, CA.  He graduated from The Master’s College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Bible Exposition, then split his graduate work between Dallas Theological Seminary and Trinity Theological Seminary where he completed his Master of Sacred Literature.  Growing up as a “Pastor’s kid” he got an early glance at the true benefits of serving God with his whole life.  He loves being around people, sharing his faith, his life, and of course surfing. He is married to his college sweetheart Kirsten and have three insanely beautiful kids Jake, Cooper and Jillian.  Kirsten is an amazing artist and children’s photographer (you should see her work here:

“We love that ALEPH is influencing people at a young age and setting them on a life course to please God in every way, wherever He might have them.  The creativity, life on life discipleship, and dedication of the leadership of ALEPH make it an investment well worth our time and resources.” – Brent Eldridge



After a trip with his best friend in 2005 to the continent marked by its people, poverty, and red dirt – Patrick Finley’s life was forever changed.  He has been marked with Africa’s stamp since.  Serving as a youth leader for the past 12 years at Peoples Church in Fresno, CA, Patrick, his beautiful wife Ingrid, and 1 year old daughter are dedicated to youth ministry.   Now a Commercial Banker at California Bank & Trust, Patrick dedicates his free time to his family, college ministry and serving on the Aleph Board. With his Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Business Administration- Finance, he is a major blessing, help, and influence on the Aleph Board.   He has a heart for missions, youth and seeking and saving the lost is his life’s goal.



WILL PHELPS – Secretary

Will Phelps and his wife Amanda spent six months of their first year of marriage traveling, working at a winery and serving in the South of Africa.  After hearing about Aleph through some friends who had heard Red and Vanessa speak at Hume Lake in California, they headed to Jeffreys Bay to spent 2 ½ months serving the kids involved in the Aleph Surf and Creatives programs.  Will being a surfer and Amanda being an artist – it was a perfect fit.  They were both moved, seeing first hand what God can do through a simple surf lesson or art workshop. Will and Amanda are ready to sell all of their possession in San Francisco and move back to continue serving in J Bay! Until God opens that door, Will continue to work in the family business as a Sales Representative at Joseph Phelps Vineyards.  He attends Reality SF and serves the lost in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco through a group called Adopt a Building, which is part of City Impact.



AARON JOHNSON – Board Member – Aleph California Administrator

Coming from ten years of full time youth ministry, Aaron has seen so many youth that are hurting and needing Christ’s love, and that is where Aleph comes in.  Aaron met Rehgert through his wife Kate at a fundraiser and advocacy conference for different organizations in Africa.  Sharing their love for God and surfing, Rehgert and Aaron joined visions to come alongside youth to not only teach them how to surf but also to be a catalyst for a friendship in which Christ’s love can be shared with them. There is a huge Hispanic community in and around Dana Point. Aaron see them every weekend down at Doheny Beach having a blast on the grass, but none of them are in the water surfing due to financial constraints and inability to learn on their own.  “To go into this community and come along side their youth, coach them in surfing, and share Christ with them is where I see Aleph Dana Point starting ” -Aaron Johnson.



 The SA Board Members




Pieter Pohl has his Bachelors in Communications, Management and Accounting.  He is an Entrepreneur and the Founder & Director of Innovation Film Investments (Pty) Ltd.  Pieter went to University in Stellenbosch with Rehgert and has always been a huge support of the vision God gave Rehgert from the beginning.  His business mind and heart for the people of South Africa has been a tremendous blessing for Aleph Surf International.  Pieter has a beautiful wife, Beth and two dogs named Samson & Delilah.



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